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13
Mar

Meeting Needs’ Shaun Casey on… the industry giving back

inVOYAGE is proud to announce we have signed up as a partner to industry charity Meeting Needs. To mark the occasion, we caught up with new executive committee member, BI Worldwide’s Head of Events Shaun Casey, to find out more about how the UK events sector is giving back…

Tell us more about Meeting Needs
It’s the industry charity and works as an umbrella organisation that raises funds to provide financial support to a range of projects in the UK and around the world. The main annual fundraising event is the M&IT Awards dinner and online auction, which this year raised more than £33,000. The other three big fundraising initiatives we have this year are the Night Rider event, a 50km or 100km night-time bike ride through London or Liverpool on 9-10 June, the MICE Softball Summer Slam in Richmond on 4 July, and the Royal Parks half marathon on 14 October.

We also have a number of charity partners, who pay an annual fee, and are able to get involved with these organised events or run their own fundraising initiatives throughout the year. Charity partners can also request beneficiary grants to support worthy causes of their choosing. Every two months, the executive committee meets to review requests for grants. So, for example, BI Worldwide submitted an application for a grant to support a charity we are working with in Durban, South Africa called Girls and Boys Town, which focuses providing schooling for young people that for various reasons might not have access to it.

How did you become part of the executive committee?
A few years ago, before I re-joined BI, I spent four months in Nicaragua as part of a project with Raleigh International to install drinking water into houses in a remote village, so I know first-hand how good it feels to be able to give back. David Hackett was standing down as an executive committee member, and so Worldspan’s Jason Wilcock who’s on the committee and was aware of my experience in Nicaragua said why you come and join us.

What will your role involve?
The two main areas I am involved in is taking over all of the charity partner communications. The second area is organising beneficiary visits to see how the grants are being used, and make sure they are being spent correctly, and also to enable charity partners to see the impact they are having. It’s the first time Meeting Needs will have done beneficiary visits and we hope to organise a couple of visits this year.

What are your personal goals for being involved?
I think to try and raise awareness – it’s a powerful cause, but I think we could promote it more effectively. I would like to galvanise a bit more activity with the charity partners and make sure they see the benefits and shout about it. I would also like to encourage more charity partners to get on board.

Why should the industry get behind the charity?
It’s really worthwhile and a really great concept and can act as an extension to any agency’s own CSR programme. Because the funds go to specific projects rather than one specific charity, it means anyone can get involved and get support for a cause that is close to their heart. We act as facilitator and do the financial due diligence – all that work is done so they don’t need to worry about that side of things. And because we are all volunteers, there is only one person who works part-time for the charity, the majority of funds raised goes to worthy causes.

For more information about Meeting Needs visit https://www.meetingneeds.org.uk/

 

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